Call me a horrible person...<rant>

Few of California’s laws are the norm :lol:. I actually work in the juvenile criminal justice system and see this sort of thing on a regular basis.

We have had quite a few parents taken to jail over their minor child’s truancy issues. Additionally, the parents are responsible for the minor’s fines/fees and restitution as I stated before. The cost for our juvenile hall is (I believe) $15.00 per day. This doesn’t begin to cover the actual costs, but it helps. Additionally, the parent is responsible for the public defender fees, as well as any additional Court costs.

When a restitution fine is joint and several, both the minors and their parents are responsible for the cost.

In fact years ago, one of the minors I was working with keyed my car. I didn’t see any money, until that minor turned 18. He recieved a large sum of money from a car accident settlement. Since the Court had gone after the minor civilly they attached his settlement, and all of his restitiution fines were paid first, then he received what was left over. In that situation, the minor’s parent had no money, however, the Court did attach his father’s tax refund in order to recoup the cost of the Court costs and juvenile hall stays.

As a general rule, the Court will go after the parent for fines/fees and Court costs, and then file civilly on the minor when they turn 18 years of age. Additionally, minors can be kept on juvenile probation until they are 21 years old in the state of California. If those fees/fines/restitution aren’t paid, the probation departments can request the Court not release the minor’s probation.

There are a lot of wacky laws concerning children and crimes in California. There is a case down south where a mother is being prosecuted for driving her teen son and his friends to the park so they could murder a 14 year old boy. Now in this case the mother participated by driving the minor’s to the crime sceen.

Unfortunately, there are many bad parents out there. Crime is generational. We have a family where I live, that I called the jail to get time credits, and they had time credits for the great-grandpa, the grandpa, the father and the youngest (all of whom shared a name). The family had been in and out of jail since 1903.

I do have to add however, there are parents, who do their best, do a good job, and their children are JUST BAD/DAMAGED whatever you want to call it. I will conceed children who demonstrate this behavior are often a product of their environment, but not always.

Kids with problems like these girls have also often seek each other out. There are two very different classes of juveniles in the world. While these girls are very definately the minority, I’ll tell you in the 8 years I’ve been working where I work and the two years prior to that I worked in criminal defense, the crimes that are being committed by our young people (especially the girls) are escalating in viciousness and callousness. We ain’t in Kansas anymore people.

Thank you, letah75, for the work you do to keep our system running. It must be tremendously difficult to work in that environment.



If a parent is doing what they should, their child just DOES NOT go around torturing animals. These girls’ parents did miss the boat on some portion of their parenting, if not most of it. Part of being a responsible parent is teaching your kids that abusing others is wrong, whether they are people or animals. And quite frankly, I think that is a very basic lesson that one should teach their young. Since these girls found it not only ok, but [I]enjoyable[/I] to torture a cat, I would say that their parents most certainly were negligent in how they have raised their kids in at least this respect, but most likely in many other respects as well. And they should therefore be held responsible.

I am by no means a gung ho animal rights activist, but I do believe in treating animals with love and kindness. Heck, my kids even capture spiders and carry them outside instead of squashing them. I am sickened by the acts of those girls. If I were their parent, I would be disgraced at my own failures.

I actually adore working with these kids! I think because of my background, where I grew up, and what I’ve seen in my life, I understand these kids. In fact at one point I wanted to be a teacher, but realized that I just don’t get “normal” kids. :shrug:

So many of these kids are damaged, but not irreperably so. I’ve seen some of THE MOST DAMAGED kids turn it around, and buck their upbringing. I’ve also seen some kids with the best parents and oppertunities just say “F*&K it all” and go so far down the wrong path that there is no fixing them.

I truely believe working with these kids is as much of a calling as say being a priest. You either “get it” or you don’t. It can be difficult at time, but WOW, when you get rewarded, you get REWARDED!

These kids are where my heart is. I’ve worked with adults too, and I like it, but the kids…well I love the kids. The best part is when you can teach them how to be kids.

That’s great Letah, the world needs more people like you who work every day with these kids and strive to be good role models, and a support system for them.

I did some work representing juveniles in Boston Juvenile Court in law school as a public defender and it was one of the most challenging and rewarding and sometimes frustrating experiences of my life. I truly respect those people who are actually out there every day being a support and trying to help these kids, many of whom who just have not had a break.

This story makes me just as sick now as it did when I first read it. Honestly, I didn’t meant to start any debates here. I am just nauseous about this poor kitten… I mean there are many ways to die. But to be tortured, and have someone take pleasure in that is beyond comprehension to me.

I doubt counceling would help these girls. You don’t just gleefully torture animals one day and be a model citizen the next. At 15, you definitely know right from wrong. How many 15 year olds do you know who baby sit? A year away from joining the workforce, a year away from their drivers licenses. They are old enough to know better.

Even if these kids had really bad lives, it doesn’t relieve them of their responsibilty. How many child molesters say they did it because they themselves were molested? How does that make them less culpable? They still commited the acts themselves. Not only with emotional detachment, but with forethought and planning. Lack of empathy for victims is a huge mark of serial killers, as is torturing animals. These girls exhibit the markings of both.

Letah, God bless you for the work you do, giving kids a chance and showing them there is something better, something more than what they have known.

hugs for you Chel- that whole story is just so sad.(and you are not crazy- just sensitive and caring.) this just makes me feel ill. As does all the other bad news in the world. I’m turning the TV to cartoons all day for a while…

I take major offense to that statement. Sometimes, some people, are just naturally cruel, regardless of upbringing, just the way their brain is wired.

I do agree that in some circumstances the parents really didn’t do their job, BUT you can’t group everyone into that statement.

I really don’t think the parent’s should have to serve jail time for this. All you will be teaching the kid then, is that they can get away with things and make someone else pay for their actions.

This sort of thing, along with the Darfur situation and pretty much everything else going on in the world, just supports my own belief that as a species we human beings are a sick and twisted lot and are without question the most violent and destructive species on the planet.

And people wonder why the aliens choose to not make contact with us. I wouldn’t either.

How mean! OMG!!! You are not at all mean or horrible or anything :hug: :hug:

Silver - I totally agree. I’m not saying that it’s the parent’s fault entirely, but they sure could have done a lot to prevent it! Another thing you’re right about - If a parent does their job right, than kids don’t go around setting kittens on fire just for the heck of it!! But, on another note - If the girls had any sense of decency, they wouldn’t set a cat on fire and [I]laugh [/I]about it! Talk about sick and twisted. I personally don’t see how anyone could just torture a kitten! A little, defenseless kitten. I can’t help it, but it makes me plain mad.

agree. sigh. When I saw the pics… that poor creature =(

And just to add to this…we have laws against rape, murder, robbery etc. Not that justice always gets done but that’s another post…

But our animal cruelty laws definitely need beefing up. As do our animal control laws.

Stories like this illustrate that need quite clearly.

Don’t feel horrible for saying so. Why should you feel horrible?!? They obviously don’t deserve the sentiment. I for one think the death penalty is good for them. Personally, I think someone should relentless beat the $h!t out of their dumb asses with metal baseball ball. I also think their parent to meet an a$$ kicking just for good measure !!!

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

I live in the area where the kitty–named Adam, now–was burned. The local paper has posted some pictures of his in his recovery… in case you’re interested. Here’s a link to one of the articles about it as well.

It’s really scary to think that something this horrific can happen 2 miles from my house.


P.S. I found another article about little Adam’s recovery. It says that last week the two girls were “charged with felony animal cruelty, a crime that carries with it a maximum penalty of three years confinement.” Not enough, IMO.

Ugh, looking at those pictures makes me even more sick, the poor kitty is so cute. I always wonder how someone could want to hurt an animal or baby/child. Its horrible.

That’s awful! I don’t understand what’s wrong with people.

It does make me happy though to hear people so for animal rights. Being a vegetarian makes me sometimes feel like I’m the only person in the world that thinks animals have a right to live. (Including cows, chickens, pigs, and fish)

I think what these girls did is a symptom of atrocities like Darfur. If we live in a society that can produce girls who do this then it’s not much a leap to think something like Darfur can happen. I think violence is all the same violence. We need to look at why a young girl in the US would do something like that to a cat in the same way we should be asking ourselves why do we (and by we I mean every human being on the planet) can allow something like Darfur to happen. I think it’s beyond parents being responsible for children. I think we all (humans) are responsible for each other. I don’t think we are born bad either. I think we have the capacity to be good and bad. You have to ask yourself which is more promoted? Which way of life can make more money (videos, movies, etc) and which one are you are a part of?

Good point. One’s suffering is no greater or less than another’s; pain is pain and torture is torture, no matter the victim. It’s just flat-out wrong to do some stupid @^%# like that!